How a global financial partner is helping energy storage companies grow
  • Sustainability
    • Sustainable Supply Chain

How HSBC is helping Powin, an energy storage company, grow

  • Article

The future of the grid is dependent on efficient energy storage solutions. That's why we're supporting Powin through financing and access to our global network and connections.

The increasing affordability and acceptance of renewable energy technologies can help lower emissions and mitigate the risks of climate change.

  • A recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted decreases of as much as 85% in the costs of solar, wind and batteries since 2010.

Okay, but: These renewable sources are intermittent — solar is only viable during the daytime and the wind can stop blowing at any time.

  • Historically, electricity generation and consumption need to be evenly matched. If there’s any deficit or overage, the grid falls out of balance and risks of a brownout.

What you need to know: Batteries used in conjunction with renewable energy can balance the grid, reduce the cost of electricity and accelerate adoption of renewable energy.

Powin, a climate tech company based in Oregon, is helping solve this issue through large-scale energy storage systems.

  • The company buys battery cells, assembles them into efficient energy storage units, and provides proprietary software to help clients better manage their energy storage and usage.
  • Their safe and cost-effective energy storage solutions are revolutionizing the way energy is generated, transmitted and distributed for utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and energy consumers worldwide.

The impact: Energy storage is required for the supply/demand balance needed to ensure the grid remains reliable and resilient as we produce more renewable energy. It can also help cover peak power instances, when energy demand is higher, without needing to use fossil fuel-powered peaking plants.

What this means: Powin’s products provide an instant-on battery system that absorbs surplus solar energy during the daytime and then distributes it in the evening.

  • Even better: A fully charged battery can ramp up from 0-100% power in as little as 100 milliseconds.

When something unpredicted happens, energy storage can act as a buffer to provide the resiliency the grid needs to stay online.

Danny Lu | Senior Vice President of Powin

Here’s the deal: The energy storage industry is spread across the globe, with most battery cell production occurring in China.

  • The industry is also very capital-intensive, and these cell contracts can be worth upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Powin secures battery cells from many different cell suppliers, creating competition and leverage to provide customers with the best supply in terms of cost, availability, reliability and performance for each application.

  • Powin’s proprietary battery and energy management platform called StackOS creates significant value in maximizing the amount of energy able to be discharged from the array of cells.
  • It also ensures that the cells will be continuously operating in optimally and safely.

The challenge: To secure a consistent cell supply and serve customers globally, companies like Powin need financial partners with credibility and deep roots in global markets to help them scale and make a difference.

The solution: HSBC provides Powin with the financing and access to connections across their network to help the company navigate their global expansion and partners.

  • The bank’s experience, strong reputation and extensive footprint in Asian markets enhance Powin’s strong relationships with leading global battery cell vendors, who some are also HSBC clients.
  • Additionally, HSBC has tools in place to help the Climate Tech company fix or hedge exchange rates to help keep its costs consistent.

Next steps: The energy storage company plans to build offices internationally and expand its reach into South Asia, Australia, Europe and East Asia.

  • HSBC’s global presence will allow Powin to capitalize on additional growth opportunities.

What Powin is saying: “Having HSBC standing behind a growing company like ours provides added confidence and trust to our customer base,” says Lu. “That enables us to better manage risks, grow and ensure that we deliver our projects on time.”

The takeaway: Solar and wind power are both essential to transitioning the grid to 100% renewable energy — a National Renewable Energy Laboratory study found that a 35% adoption of wind and solar power in the western U.S. would reduce CO2 emissions by 25-45%.

  • But this transition won’t be effective without innovative energy storage solutions.
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